Ephedra Sinica Tea Recipe – How to Use for Weight Loss?
Ephedra sinica tea has been used traditionally to dilate bronchial vessels and stimulate the central nervous system.
Ephedra tea is considered to have a pungent, bitter taste with invigorating properties when consumed.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it was prescribed as an asthma remedy and used to treat hay fever, colds, bronchitis, edema, joint pain and more.
Ephedra Sinica (also known as Ma Huang) has recently been the subject of controversy over dangerous reactions to supplements and drugs containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine alkaloids.
However, use of the whole herb in appropriate dosages is not reported to cause unwanted side effects. Follow dosage guidelines closely when preparing ephedra sinica tea recipes to reduce the risk of adverse effects. Click here to buy ephedra supplements online legally without a prescription.
Ephedra Sinica Tea
Ephedra sinica is one of many species of the ephedra family of plants. This species grows in parts of East Asia and Northern China with desert-like climates.
It prefers dry, sandy soil and grows on plains and mountain slopes between 700 – 1600 metres in elevation. The plant can grow to two feet high with long green, leafless branches and small yellow flowers.
The tea is typically prepared from the fresh stems of the plant, but can also be prepared from a dried, ground powder or from liquid extracts.
In traditional Chinese medicine, ephedra Sinica (Ma Huang) has long been used to treat lung or breathing issues that include asthma, sinus problems, and the common cold.
It is also used to increase female libido, treat fevers, lung and bladder conditions and to alleviate night-sweats caused by chi or yin deficiency.
Ephedra is one of the most important plants in Chinese medicine. Its pharmacological effects are attributed to the presence of six bioactive alkaloids in the stems of the plant. Of these alkaloids, the most potent is ephedrine.
Ephedrine is a stimulant that affects the sympathetic nervous system and mimics some of the effects of adrenaline. Drinking ephedra tea can boost heart rate, increase metabolism, promote mental alertness and cause bronchodilation of airways.
Many people use Ephedra Sinica tea for weight loss and to increase fat burning. It is also used by athletes who want to increase their performance and stamina.
How to Make Ephedra Sinica Tea
What is the right way to make Ma Huang tea from the raw herb or liquid extract? Various forms of ephedra are available and instructions will differ depending on brand as well as form of the tea.
Some sellers provide packages of the whole, dried eplant stems and leaves while others ground it into a powdered form. Others prepare it into a liquid tincture and there are also some vendors who supply it in pre-measured tea bags.
Note that different species of ephedra contain different amounts of active alkaloids. Dosages used to make a single cup or pot of tea will differ depending on the desired ephedrine content per serving.
If using homegrown ephedra plants to prepare the tea, note that not all of the parts of the plant are used to make the tea. It is also important to know the optimal time to harvest and when the plants are fully mature. Alkaloid content will be greatest in herbs collected in the autumn.
It it is recommended to buy your ephedra Sinica from a trained Chinese medical practitioner or qualified herbalist to ensure you are using a high-quality plant. It can be difficult to tell the different species of this plant apart when ordering online.
Preparing An Ephedra Sinica Tea Recipe
A number of recipes for this tea are available online. One recipe, found on a package label of imported ephedra tea recommends:
- 1 teaspoon of dried ephedra stems
- 8 ounces of boiling water
- Pour boiling water over the dried stems in a teacup and allow to steep for 5 minutes
Another source recommends anywhere from 2 to 6 grams of Chinese Ma Huang extract to make the tea. A third recipe suggests that the correct dose is one-half teaspoon with a steeping time of 10 minutes.
If you are making your own Ephedra Sinica tea at home for the first time, it is recommended to start with a low dosage to gauge your individual sensitivity to this plant. Like caffeine, individual responses to the effects of ephedrine can vary greatly.
Water to tea ratios as well as steeping time will depend on whether you like your tea milder or stronger. Some add sweeteners such as natural honey or sugar to mask the bitter taste. Some recipes suggest using milk in the tea while others recommend against this combination.
According to one source, cardamom, anise, and fennel are also used to reduce the bitter flavor. Ephedra root has also been prepared with wine or brandy.
Where to Buy Ephedra Tea
Dried ephedra sinica stems for brewing tea can be difficult to find, unless you live in an area near TCM practitioners or Asian food markets.
While there are many vendors online that offer ephedra plants for sale, it can be difficult to determine quality and potency of such products. Many of these retailers are based in international markets and there may be import bans in place when you ship these products back to the USA.
There are several suppliers that offer raw Ma Huang stems or powder for sale on eBay. It is recommended to only purchase from sellers that have a high feedback rating and have been in business for several years.
Note that not all the products labelled as Ephedra Sinica will be from this species. There are other species of ephedra plant that can look similar, but lack any of the active ephedrine alkaloids.
Results for Weight Loss
Many user reviews cite benefits from drinking this herbal tea to help them lose weight. The ingredients in this tea can cause your body to burn more calories, increase your motivation to work out, make you feel more energized and raise your thermogenic activity.
Making ephedra tea for weight loss may have some short-term benefits, such as increased metabolism and energy levels. This product can help to reduce your appetite and improve your activity levels.
While studies demonstrate that ephedra sinica extract can promote increased fat loss, a long-term weight loss plan requires diet and lifestyle changes. No long-term studies regarding use of ephedra sinica tea have been conducted.
One small study used the Chinese ephedra herb in a water extract form to prepare a tea containing approximately a 4g dosage of the raw herb. This brew was given to obese Korean women. The decline in body mass index measured approximately 0.05 pounds, which is relatively minor. 
In another small study, it was shown that using ephedra by itself could promote 1 to 2-pounds weight loss in one month compared to individuals taking a placebo control. 
Potential Side Effects
The alkaloids in the ephedra plant can cause serious adverse effects when taken in high dosages, combined with other stimulants or used by people who have cardiovascular problems.
Most of the side effects are linked to the ephedrine, pseudo-ephedrine and norephedrine alkaloids found in this plant. There is a greater risk when taking synthetic versions of these alkaloids in the form of diet pills, bronchodilator medications or asthma and allergy remedies.
According to some sources, no serious adverse events have been recorded when using the whole herb prepared in tea form. While drinking Ephedra Sinica tea is generally considered to be safe, this product is not appropriate for everyone.
Individuals who have a history of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disorders, mental health conditions, glaucoma or thyroid problems should avoid this product. It should also not be used in combination with MAOI drugs.
Some potential side effects of drinking too much Ma Huang tea include:
- Accelerated heart rate
- Upset stomach
- Heart palpitations
If you experience such symptoms, decrease your dosage the next time you make this recipe or increase the amount of water used. If symptoms persist, consult with your physician or qualified herbalist.
- Kim BS, Song MY, Kim H. The anti-obesity effect of Ephedra sinica through modulation of gut microbiota in obese Korean women. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 Mar 28;152(3):532-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2014.01.038. Epub 2014 Feb 17.
- National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. Ephedra and Ephedrine Alkaloids for Weight Loss and Athletic Performance.